Water Rights

April 12, 2015--In California, rights to water exceed the supply (Los Angeles Times)

It's arguable whether California has enough water to meet its actual needs. But it clearly does not have enough to match people's expectations. And one reason is simple. Government historically has over-promised — not exactly a new concept. In the last century, the state has handed out rights to five times more surface water than our rivers produce even in a normal year.


Ute Mountain Ute Tribe

In early January the Durango City Council signed a resolution supporting the delivery of water from Lake Nighthorse to the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. “This water would really help our future,” Chairman Manuel Heart said. The resolution stemmed from a series of recent meetings between city officials and the tribe about the potential recreational use of Lake Nighthorse. The city will likely send the resolution to Colorado’s US senators and House members to help support the tribe as it seeks funding for infrastructure to deliver the water. The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe has water rights to about 31 percent of the water stored in the lake. The additional water would allow for greater economic development on the reservation.


March 29, 2015--Tipton will re-introduce his water rights measure (Grand Junction Sentinel)

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., will tweak a previous measure of his to have the federal government recognize states’ water laws, Tipton said Saturday at the Club 20 spring meeting. A measure he plans to carry this Congress will take aim at a U.S. Forest Service directive he criticized as an overreach on control of groundwater.


March 17, 2015--Bills on Colorado ski-area water, mineral rights do a face plant in Legislature (Denver Business Journal)

Two more bills attempting to address disputes between environmentalists and environmentally-minded government agencies on the one hand and property-rights owners on the other have bitten the dust in the Colorado Legislature. Democrats on the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on Monday killed Senate Bills 64 and 93, both sponsored by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling


March 16, 2015--Bill seeks to make rain barrels legal in Colorado (KUSA)

A bill passed a state House committee Monday that would allow all residents to use rain barrels to store water to be used for outdoor irrigation. "Many of the people I've spoken to think I'm joking when I tell them that the collecting of the rain off of your roof is illegal," bill sponsor Rep.


March 2, 2015--State Supreme Court to weigh water diversion (Aspen Journal)

A water court case in Pueblo over the size of water rights from the upper Fryingpan River delivered through the Busk-Ivanhoe tunnel to the East Slope has now blossomed into a Colorado Supreme Court case full of powerful interests opposing each other across the Continental Divide.


February 28, 2015--Calif. farms to go without federal water again in 2015 (Capital Press)

Many farms in California’s Central Valley will have to do without federal water again this year unless big spring storms replenish the state’s woeful mountain snowpack. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s initial allocation, announced Feb.


February 26, 2015--Supreme Court sides with Kansas in water dispute (ABC News)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Nebraska to pay Kansas $5.5 million in a long-running legal dispute over use of water from the Republican River. The justices also gave Nebraska some of what it asked for and ordered changes to the formula for measuring water consumption. Nebraska argued that the formula was unfair.


February 22, 2015--Montanans fight to last drop over precious water rights (WND)

The American West’s history of conflict between Indians and settlers apparently isn’t over, as tribes in Montana are demanding title to water rights and lands that long have been privately owned. The landowners, some of whom have had the land in their families for generations, fear they could end up with nothing, and they are fighting back.


February 10, 2015--House approves ‘flex-use’ water bill (Grand Junction Sentinel)

Several Western Slope lawmakers didn’t get their way Tuesday on a bill that is designed to prevent so-called buy-and-dry tactics on water rights for farms and ranches.


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